The communication not to say anything Vol.2 ~Japanese prefer to omit words and phrases~

日本人のコミュニケーション:Japanese communication

Japanese article is here;

At first ~The omitted phrases~


“Kon-nichiwa”, this is MIKA!

By the way, “Kon-nichiwa”, which I always say you at first, do you know it’s an omitted phrase?

“Kon-nichiwa” is the abbreviation for 「今日(こんにち)はご機嫌(きげん)いかがですか?」, “How are you today?” in English!


Second, “Ohayo” is the abbreviation for 「お早(はよ)うお越(こ)しでございますね」, “You come here early” in English. It means “Thank you for coming here early”.


Third, “Sayounara” doesn’t have the meaning of leaving itself.

In fact, “Sayounara” is “Sayou-naraba” from the first, a conjunction of old Japanese!

For example, imagine the conversation like that;

“To be honest, I don’t want to leave yet. However, because I have another schedule after this, I need to go soon.”

“All right. So, see you again.”

The thing what I want to tell you is “All right. So,” is the literal translation of “Sayou-naraba” and “Sayounara”!


Fourth, “Sumimasen”, the phrase of an apology and appreciation means “Such apology/appreciation isn’t enough to calm me down.”

“It isn’t enough to calm me down.” is translated as “Sumimasen”.


Finally, “Maido-ookini” is “Thank you very much for everytime.” in Kansai dialect which is used in the western area of Japan around Osaka.

In another word, there isn’t the phrase of appreciation like “Arigatou-gozaimasu” in “Maido-ookini”!

However, they can communicate with just “Maido-ookini”, “Maido”, or “Ookini” strangely.

In addition, “Maido” means “Everytime”, and “Ookini” menas “Very much”.

Japanese also love an abbreviation!

As I’ve told you in the old article “The communication not to say anything Vol.1 ~Japanese tell indirectly~”, Japanese have the strongest “High-context” culture around the world.

Japanese have acquired the skill to observe the true feeling or thinking of companion not to be written or said for long time with the exclusive situation as the island country.

That’s why they prefer to use not only indirect expressions but also omitted words and phrases!

Now, you may think “But there are some omitted words and phrases in other languages too, aren’t there?”.

Definitely it’s true. For example, 「なるはや」 in the picture from before is the abbreviation of 「なるべく早(はや)く」, it menas “As soon as possible”, and it’s omitted as “ASAP” too.

In other hands, “Oh my God!” is “OMG”、”Laughing out loud” is “LOL”、”You too.” is “U2”.

However, Japanese people mercilessly omit the words which all of you don’t want us to do.

Yes, what I want to say is they omit “Subject”, “Object” and “Possessive case”!!

Why Japanese omit “Subject”, “Object” and “Possessive case”?

In the case of self‐introduction


“Hello, it‘s nice to meet you. My name is MIKA. I‘m Japanese. I‘m 29 years old. I‘m a Japanese language theacher. Let’s get along well.”

In the case of my self-introduction, it’s like this.

By the way, do you find the fact there is no 「私」, the “Subject” of the sentence!?

If I venture to translate it literally by putting “Subject” and “Possessive case”, it becomes like that;


How was it?

私、私、私、私、私……If there are same subjecuts too much, they are too unnatural to hear or read for Japanese people!

They can understand the subject is always “I” because it’s a self-introduction, it’s needless to say.

That’s why Japanese positively prefer to omit them.

In the case of conversation 1  ~Walking with a pet dog~

Next, let’s assume the case of conversation.

For instance, you have a pet dog, and go walking with him/her.

And somebody talk to you while on the walking.

「こんにちは! 可愛(かわい)いですね。撫(な)でてもいいですか?」

“Hi, your dog is so cute! Can I stroke your pet?”




“What is your pet’s name?”


My pet’s name is Marine. She is a girl.”


“Hello, Marine!”

……So, I’ll try to translate it literally by putting “Subject”, “Object” and “Possessive case”.

「こんにちは! あなたのワンちゃん、可愛いですね。あなたのワンちゃんを撫でてもいいですか?」

“Hi, your dog is so cute! Can I stroke your pet?”




“What is your pet’s name?”


My pet’s name is Marine. She is a girl.”

In addition, we call dogs “Wan-chan” with affection, because they bark “Wan-wan!”, “Bow-wow” in English.

By the way, I showed you two examples of the conversation. How was it?

I think you can understand how Japanese omit subjects, objects and possessive cases.

Then, why Japanese omit them like that?

Because the charactars in the conversation share the same situation and topic.

A man is walking with his pet dog, and a woman appears to start to talk about his pet dog; if we can understand the situation and topic which the charactars in conversation share clearly, and that situation and topic haven’t be changed yet, it’s unnecessary to tell subjects, objects and possessive cases concretely.

In the case of conversation 2  ~The students after a test~

Finally, let’s assume the case of conversation of the students after a test.


「全然(ぜんぜん)!! あれなんてさ、誰(だれ)も解(と)けなかったんじゃない?」

……If you have understanded what they had said, you could enjoy Japanese student’s life without any stress.

So, I’ll try to put omitted words.


“Hey, how was your result for the test?”

「全然ダメだった!! あの難(むずか)し過(す)ぎる問題(もんだい)なんてさ、誰も解けなかったんじゃない?」

“Totally bad!! I think no one could settle the question which is too difficult for us, don’t you think so?”

……How was it?

Because they shared the situation as “After a test”, please allow the topic has been hidden.

However, finally the predicate has been omitted too!!

The reason why it has been omitted is they share the knowledge of grammar that negative expression will come after the adverb「全然」 basically.

And then, it’s possible for Japanese to observe the pronoun「あれ」,”that” in English means 「あの難し過ぎる問題」, “the question which is too difficult for us to settle” with the sentence 「誰も解けなかったんじゃない?」, “I think no one could settle it” after 「あれなんてさ」.

In short, Japanese can think the word which the pronoun means with context!

Final comment

How was it?

Aren’t you crying out “OMG!!” like the boy in the picture?(^^;)

Even Japanese grammar and kanji are enough to make us be troubled, we additionally have to find the omitted words……don’t you dispair like that?

If I was a foreigner studying Japanese, I could have had the same mind.

But, feel at ease! Altough a test never tell you the omitted words, Japanese people surely will do it if you ask them.

Practice patiently to get used to that step by step!